New Delhi: US-based electric vehicle maker Tesla is targeting to buy components worth USD 1.9 billion from India this year. Last year, the company bought components worth USD 1 billion from India, said Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday.
Goyal was speaking at the 63rd Annual Session of the Automobile Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA). He said that going forward, demand for electric vehicles will increase and it will help in pushing the sector’s growth.
He said: “Tesla already last year bought one billion dollars of components from I think all of you sitting here….I have the list of companies that supply Tesla. This year, their target is nearly USD 1.7 billion or USD 1.9 billion as they mentioned.”
There was a time when Tesla was asking for huge cuts, but now there have been reports that the government may be considering juicy concessions on completely building up units, Goyal said while adding that this government has a track record of nine years for treating everyone equally without any differentiation and without any preferences.
The Union Minister said this is a government that provides equal opportunity to everyone. “We will come up with a policy in consultation with all the stakeholders,” the Union Minister said.
When asked about foreign firms looking to invest in India as part of their China plus one strategy, Goyal said that global companies are coming to India because of its attractiveness.
“I totally debunk and reject the China plus one theory. That’s not what is going to drive India. India of today stands on its own feet. The India of today has offerings for the rest of the world both for investment and trade,” he said.
Goyal added that india provides them good business environment, skills, managerial talent, a big market, and a demand generated by 1.4 billion brothers and sisters.
“It’s a rules-based economy…, it’s a young democracy…..one of the fastest growing large economies. All of this makes it a compulsive investment destination.”
“Therefore companies around the world have gone beyond the Chinese plus one story, they have gone beyond the ABC philosophy of anything but China, they have gone beyond friend-shoring or near-shoring and are looking at India as a trusted partner, he added.
The Minister while speaking at the session also talked about the India Middle East Europe economic corridor
“The UAE is a window towards all of Africa, large parts of the Middle East and some parts of Europe, which is why the India Middle East Europe economic corridor has very strategic importance for us because it mainly opens up through this whole region. Our logistics will become more effective,” Goyal said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently met Tesla chief Elon Musk and invited him to explore opportunities in India for investments in electric mobility and the rapidly expanding commercial space sector.
Speaking to reporters after meeting with PM Modi, Musk, who is also CEO of SpaceX and owner, CTO and chairman of ‘X’ formerly Twitter, said he was incredibly excited about the future of India. He said that India has more promise than any large country in the world.
“In a nutshell, it was a fantastic meeting with the Prime Minister. I like him quite a lot and he visited our factory a few years ago. So we have known each other for a while,” Musk said.
“I am tentatively planning to visit India again next year. I am looking forward to it,” he added.
Musk, responding to questions from reporters, said he was confident that his car company Tesla would be in India “as soon as humanly possible”.
“I would like to thank PM Modi for his support and hopefully, we will be able to announce something in the not-too-distant future,” Musk said.
To a question on when Tesla will be in India, Musk said, “We don’t want to jump the gun with an announcement but it’s quite likely that there will be a significant investment for India in the future.”
In a quick counter question by reporters asking what changed his mind about Tesla’s investments in India, he smilingly said, “I have never changed my mind”.
Tesla was interested in investment in India but “high import duty” structures apparently were a bone of contention. ANI last year reported Musk had requested India to lower taxes and also allow the company to first sell vehicles built elsewhere at a competitive price. Import duty in India is 25 to 100 per cent on completely built unit (CBU) vehicles.
Tesla is reportedly expected to announce the location of its new factory by the end of 2023.